Posted on May 02, 2023 by Lynn L. Bergeson
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On April 20, 2023, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) issued a press release announcing that, together with the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), it sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking EPA to “fix” the public comment process for 18 significant new use notices (SNUN) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) created by Inhance Technologies in the fluorination of millions of plastic containers. PEER states that “[t]he public comment process is a critical opportunity for stakeholders to provide data and analysis to EPA as it decides whether it will allow Inhance Technologies to continue to use a process that creates highly toxic PFAS during fluorination.” According to PEER, “[e]xtensive data demonstrate that several PFAS are not only present in fluorinated containers but leach into container contents, directly exposing a large segment of the U.S. population and consumers abroad to PFAS.” PEER notes that EPA’s “flawed approach” is underlined by the “significant deficiencies” in the nine SNUNs posted for public comment that:
- Are redacted such that critical information, such as the number of containers fluorinated annually, cannot be accessed;
- Lack key attachments that appear to have been removed from public view without explanation; and
- Are riddled with inconsistencies, including a failure to notice properly half the new uses.